Rezoning denied for homes engulfed by Mesa State campus

Grand Junction City Council members supported future expansion of Mesa State College when they decided Wednesday night not to allow rezoning of two homes nearly surrounded by campus facilities.

Owners Clark and Phyllis Carroll, who own 1220 and 1240 Cannell Ave., wanted to rezone the properties from residential to residential office. Residential office zoning is allowed in that area, and the rezoning request has been recommended for approval by the Grand Junction Planning Commission.

The owners had planned to market the homes for office and multifamily housing units, or sell them to a developer who would build housing units and office space matching the residence hall-office building combinations at the college, said the owners’ representative, Alicia Herring, after the meeting.

Council members Tom Kenyon and Sam Susuras were the only members who voted in favor of the rezoning proposal.

“I cannot sit in judgment of the property owners and what their intentions are,” Susuras said, adding that voting against the rezoning would “stomp on” the owners’ property rights.

Council member Bennett Boeschenstein had said the rezoning request appeared to be a move by the property owners to get a better price for their property. He said not allowing the rezoning was not an infringement on private property rights.

“We’re trying to work cooperatively with Mesa State,” he said. “This makes no sense whatsoever. We want to be good friends and neighbors with the college.”

Boeschenstein called for a motion to rezone the Carrolls’ properties as community service and recreation, a zoning that incorporates some, but not all, of the college grounds. That motion did not pass.

Boeschenstein also said that convincing the college to apply for rezoning its remaining properties to community service and recreation would be preferred over the mismatched zoning on the colleges grounds.

The college has announced plans to slowly expand its campus to the west, including the Carrolls’ homes.

They have not responded to requests to sell the homes to the college for their appraised values, Derek Wagner, director of strategic initiatives for the college, said at the meeting.

Herring said she would consult with the Carrolls about whether to appeal the rezoning denial. The Carrolls have long-standing ties to the homes and are not requesting rezoning purely for financial gain, she said.


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